Wednesday 22nd of September 2021

trusting the news "of the world"...


The BBC is recognised by audiences in the UK and around the world as a provider of news that you can trust. Our website, like our TV and radio services, strives for journalism that is accurate, impartial, independent and fair.

Our editorial values say: "The trust that our audience has in all our content underpins everything that we do. We are independent, impartial and honest. We are committed to achieving the highest standards of accuracy and impartiality and strive to avoid knowingly or materially misleading our audiences.

"Our commitment to impartiality is at the heart of that relationship of trust. In all our output we will treat every subject with an impartiality that reflects the full range of views. We will consider all the relevant facts fairly and with an open mind."

Research shows that, compared to other broadcasters, newspapers and online sites, the BBC is seen as by far the most trusted and impartial news provider in the UK.

Even so, we know that identifying credible journalism on the internet can be a confusing experience. We also know that audiences want to understand more about how BBC journalism is produced.

For these reasons, BBC News is making even greater efforts to explain what type of information you are reading or watching on our website, who and where the information is coming from, and how a story was crafted the way it was. By doing so, we can help you judge for yourself why BBC News can be trusted.

We are also making these indicators of trustworthy journalism "machine-readable", meaning that they can be picked up by search engines and social media platforms, helping them to better identify reliable sources of information too.


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This is why Google and other search engines place Western media "informative" articles ahead of say RT and Sputnik which are deemed to be inaccurate and against the glorious Western empire's thrust.

the unfortunate leaks...

In the image above, there are bubbles going up from "the wall of secrecy". THESE ARE THE LEAKS. These leaks are Wikileaks, Snowden and the likes, but they are far and few in between. Some of these leaks are also cultivated by the various spy agencies through double agents, such as Skripal. When exposed, these double agents have to make an "escape". Often, the way to flush out double agents is to feed them "exclusively" with fake secret information — information that surfaces in the Western (or Russian) media through their respective "intelligence" agencies. Then you know who the culprit is. Even if the information is not published in the media, "other double agents" will pass on the message that the fake information has gained traction in the targeted "intelligence" services.


See also:


Rather than complain about "people of all political persuasions" pointing out the system's flaws, he said, BBC Director General Tony Hall and others like him would do well to look in the mirror to understand how "traditional journalism" came to be seen as "part of the problem rather than the solution."

"Media today, specifically news media, is now a 24/7 runaway train, manned by people who are unqualified, by people who've never done this before, and newsrooms who've had their budgets slashed and their rolls shuttered. And the idea years ago of the news editor… is gone now," said Lionel.

"Think of a monster you have to keep feeding. Anything – any story, any rehash, it doesn't matter. There's nothing too dumb, too silly, too unjustified because as soon as you're done, you've got a news story."

gloating at the NYP about the MSM frenzy...

media frenzy

We have a national champion . . . of lousy “collusion” punditry.

It was a tough bracket, featuring some of the biggest names in the prestige press, late-night comedians, ­C- and D-list celebs, scholars, think-tankers and freshly minted Russia experts. But top-seeded Rachel Maddow dribbled and scored her way past them all to clinch The Post’s #MuellerMadness trophy.

Congratulations to Maddow and her MSNBC colleagues!

More than 1,000 readers shared their brackets with us, and a large plurality (nearly a quarter) picked Maddow for the top spot. As reader Jim Murphy said, Maddow “ripped through the field like the Isiah Thomas Indiana team did back in 1981,” fueled by the conviction that it was “her job to educate ‘We the Stupid’ on every rumor and how they all fit together.”

Maddow excelled at connecting nonconnected dots. Night ­after night for two years, she spun tinfoil-hat theories about how “Donald Trump is going to do what Russia wants,” how “the presidency is effectively a ­Russian op.” This, even as the Trump administration armed ­Poland and Ukraine, bombed Russian operatives in Syria and squeezed Moscow’s chief Mideast client, Iran.


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Read from top. See also:

the mueller debacle in cartoons...



fake stones in the garden of evidence...

the joke of the decade might carry on beyond 2020...


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.


AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. To talk more about the Mueller report, we’re joined by two guests. Glenn Greenwald, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, one of the founding editors of The Intercept, has been one of the most prominent skeptics of the Russiagate probe. He’s speaking to us from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. David Cay Johnston is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter previously with The New York Times, now founder and editor of He’s been reporting on Donald Trump since the 1980s, has written, well, most recently, two books on him, his most recent, It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America.

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Let’s begin with David Cay Johnston in Rochester, New York. David, your response to the Mueller report and to William Barr’s summary of what he found?

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: Well, we don’t know what’s in the Mueller report. We only know the brief interpretation offered by Bill Barr. But that interpretation opens whole new cans of worms. The standard here should not be beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s the criminal standard. The standard is the constitutional requirements, which are faithful execution of the office and high crimes and misdemeanors, which doesn’t require any criminal offense of any kind, as the 18 impeachment proceedings we’ve had in this country have established beyond a doubt.

We need to see the full report. We need to have Mueller’s testimony. We need to know what it was that Mueller learned about such matters as Jared Kushner asking to use secret Russian diplomatic communications gear to contact the Kremlin without the knowledge of American intelligence, something the Russians made available to us to know by the way they transmitted a cable, knowing it would be read by intelligence agencies. We need to know why Don Jr., who said, “Love it,” when offered help by the Kremlin, was not questioned or indicted—most likely because his lawyers said he would take the Fifth Amendment. But why was he not charged? And we need to know about why he didn’t call FBI counterintelligence, which is the only thing any decent and patriotic American would do when given an offer by a foreign government to interfere in our election. And there’s a lot more that we need to know. We need to see the report in full. We need to hear Mueller’s testimony about it, not just Bill Barr’s interpretation of it, especially given that Barr sought this job and has positioned himself as someone who believes, essentially, the president virtually cannot commit a crime under our Constitution, certainly not obstruction of justice.

AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald, your response?

GLENN GREENWALD: This is the saddest media spectacle I’ve ever seen, since I began practicing journalism in 2005. And what makes it even sadder is to watch all of the people who vested their journalistic credibility into what proved to be a complete and total fraud and scam continue to try and cling to some vestige of credibility by continuing to spin conspiracy theories that are even more reckless and more unhinged than the ones to which we’ve been subjected for three years. The great journalist and writer Matt Taibbi wrote in an article over the weekend, and I agree with him completely, that as humiliating as the media debacle was leading up to the Iraq War, what they did over the last three years in the Trump-Russia story makes all of that look like a pimple. Even though obviously the Iraq War was much more destructive because it led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, the errors and lies and falsehoods and recklessness and speculation that we’ve been subjected to, over and over and over, that Robert Mueller just definitively debunked, is far more humiliating journalistically, far more unjustifiable journalistically. And who knows where it will lead to? It’s ratcheted up tensions between the two most dangerous nuclear-armed powers in the world, Russia and the United States, that the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists says has brought us to two minutes before midnight on their Doomsday Clock. So it’s also been extremely dangerous in ways that we don’t yet know.

Let me just say two things. Number one, everybody knows—and I don’t care how many people try and rewrite history—that the central question that everybody was obsessed with for three years was: Did Donald Trump, his family members and his aides conspire and collaborate and collude with the Russians to interfere in the election? And contrary to what David just said, it is absolutely false that Robert Mueller simply said there’s not enough evidence to convict with a reasonable doubt. He said something much, much, much, much more important than that. He said that after 20 months of investigation, with a huge team of FBI agents and prosecutors, heralded as being the most aggressive and skilled in the world, we found no evidence that this happened. That’s what Robert Mueller said. The whole thing was a scam and a fraud from the beginning. And The New York Times headline today says that as clearly as it can: Robert Mueller finds no collusion between Trump and Russia. That was the focal point of the entire narrative, no matter how much people try and change the focus.

The second point, this idea that, “Oh, we haven’t heard from Robert Mueller yet, we’ve only heard Bill Barr’s summary of him,” yes, that’s true. But Bill Barr has been friends with Robert Mueller for 30 years. They come from the same Republican circles in the Department of Justice. They both worked together at the Bush Justice Department, the Bush 41 Justice Department. All we heard for 20 months is that Robert Mueller is a man of the greatest integrity and patriotism. The idea, the very idea—just think about this—that he would allow Bill Barr to run around making false and misleading distortions about what the Mueller team found, and not one person on the Mueller team, including Bob Mueller himself, would stand up and say, “Wait a minute, he is distorting what our findings was,” that is laughable. That’s exactly the kind of conspiracy theories that led to this entire mess in the first place, and we should no longer tolerate this. Rachel Maddow and MSNBC are the Judy Millers of this story, except, unlike Judy Miller, who was scapegoated for doing things that her male colleague did and had her career destroyed, Rachel Maddow will continue to make $10 million a year for NBC because she’s their most valuable brand, and there will be no reckoning and consequences for this story that the media got radically, fundamentally and deliberately wrong for almost three years now in a very dangerous way.

AMY GOODMAN: David Cay Johnston?

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: Well, you notice Glenn doesn’t dispute what are established facts. We know that the Russians offered to help the Trump campaign. We have the emails proving that. And we know that Don Jr. was not interviewed. We know, as a matter of fact, unless the Russians fabricated the cable, in which case you would have expected denials from the Trump camp, that Jared Kushner sought to use the communications gear of the Russian diplomats and that they put their cable on this out in a way knowing it would be intercepted. We know, and Glenn certainly wouldn’t dispute, that the Russians tried to interfere in our election.

Now, all of these facts are fundamental to what matters here. And the issue that matters is this began as a counterintelligence investigation, not a criminal investigation. And I don’t think [William] Barr has completely, as Glenn suggested, distorted what was said here. But I think his four-page summary doesn’t give us the full picture. After all, he quoted—the only place he quoted the Mueller report was that it did not exonerate Donald Trump on the issue of obstruction of justice. We need to see the report. And we can’t draw the kind of conclusions that Glenn is drawing without actually seeing the document. There’s a lot of gray area here. And the standard for the conduct of the president is not the standard of criminal liability.

And just one other point, let’s remember that Donald Trump, who studied at the foot of Roy Cohn, as a young man, beat four grand jury investigations. He escaped scrutiny for his role in the international drug trafficking of Joseph Weichselbaum, whom he wrote a letter saying he was a standup guy who shouldn’t be punished, and engaged in behavior that made no sense unless the two of them were in the business together, that Trump has a long and thoroughly documented history of lying, of filing false reports, of cheating on his taxes, having been tried twice for income tax fraud and lost both of those cases—they were civil cases, but lost both. So, I don’t think you can draw the conclusions Glenn has drawn without seeing the Mueller report in full.

AMY GOODMAN: David Cay Johnston, let me ask, I mean, you have been exposing Donald Trump for decades—not around the issue of collusion with Russia. Is it possible that what Donald Trump is guilty of is corruption, not collusion? I don’t think Glenn Greenwald is saying that Donald Trump is innocent in all areas, but he is saying, of this investigation, of these charges, he is.

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: Well, I personally have never once said or suggested that this is a criminal issue that should be treated as a criminal matter. I mean, I disagree with the Justice Department’s two Office of Legal Counsel memoranda, as do a lot of people who study and write about and, like I do, teach our Constitution. But that’s the broader issue here. What was the level of conduct? We know that Donald Trump invited the Russians to interfere in our election. So what did Mueller find? Let’s understand what he found. That it didn’t rise to the level of a crime, I just don’t think is that significant. I want to know what they found. And one of the key questions I want to know is: Did Don Jr., did Jared Kushner, and did Donald Trump’s lawyers say that if questioned, they would take the Fifth Amendment? Now, we all have a Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate ourselves, but it would be untenable for a sitting president of the United States to take the Fifth Amendment. He would be a unique case in that matter, he and the vice president, if the Fifth Amendment was put forward.

AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald?

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, let me just say a couple of things. First of all, prior to Bob Mueller’s appointment, I was calling for a full-scale investigation in which all of the facts at the conclusion of the investigation would be publicly revealed, so that we would stop having to rely on media leaks that the CIA and the NSA and the FBI were engineering and manipulating and lying to us, as we now know, so that we could see the full picture. So I continue to believe that we should see the full Mueller report. I support that completely.

Secondly, let me say, as well, that I believe that Donald Trump is one of the most corrupt people ever to occupy the White House. I am certain that he’s guilty of all kinds of crimes—war crimes as president, financial crimes as a business person. One of the reason why those of us who were so angry about this obsession on Russia and collusion, aside from the fact that it was so dangerous to ratchet up tensions between two nuclear-armed powers this way instead of trying to forge a peace between these two countries, is precisely because it took the oxygen away from all of the things that the Trump administration is doing that is so damaging, in lieu of this idiotic, moronic, Tom Clancy-type espionage thriller, where we were talking about Putin blackmailing Donald Trump with pee-pee tapes and Donald Trump being a Russian agent since 1987, which was a cover story that was on New York magazine, that Chris Hayes put on MSNBC. Just all kinds of moronic conspiracies, that we love to mock other countries’ medias for circulating and disseminating, drowned out our airwaves and our discourse for three years, preventing us from focusing on the real, substantive damage that the Trump administration is doing and that Donald Trump’s corruption entails.

But the reality is, the media chose to focus on this. Everybody knows this. David Cay Johnston was on your show, Amy, a week ago, and he said, “Donald Trump, I believe, is a Russian agent.” We now have a full-scale, 20-month investigation by somebody that everybody agreed was a man of great integrity who would get to the bottom of all of this, who had full subpoena power. And David keeps trying to imply, which is totally false, that all that Mueller said was, “Oh, it just doesn’t rise to the level of criminality.” That is not what he said. He said, after 20 months of a full-scale investigation—which, by the way, included hours of interrogating Donald Trump Jr. before Congress, all of the transcripts of which were made available to Mueller, which he could have prosecuted Trump Jr. on for perjury and obstruction had Donald Trump Jr. lied about anything, but he chose not to. He said, “After reviewing all of this evidence, I am concluding that this did not happen,” not that it doesn’t rise to the level where I can criminally prosecute. He’s saying there was no collusion.

The game is over, and it’s time to be honest about it. And the more we try to cling to this and invent new—you know what it reminds me of? In 2003, when the neocons finally had to face the truth that there were no WMDs, that they had fabricated that, that the media had misled millions of people around the world for years, and they started saying, “Um, maybe Saddam hid them in Syria. Maybe they’re buried in places we just haven’t looked yet.” It’s time to face the truth. The media got this story wrong. They obsessed on this for three years, and all this time there was no evidence for it. It was just a conspiracy theory. Rachel Maddow, the most influential liberal TV host in the country, every single night misled millions of liberals into believing something that was totally false, and there will be no media consequences for it. And that is extremely grave and serious, no matter how much is true about how corrupt Donald Trump is in his financial dealings or any of the other stuff that people are now trying to deflect our attention onto.



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Read from top.

socialis instrumentis vetitum diurnariis...

A tough new social media policy for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, the Brisbane Times and WAToday has spooked reporters and columnists alike.

It requires people to: take care with what they retweet; not use social media to make customer service complaints; not live tweet events if it interferes with their work; not share breaking news or tips from other organisations without attribution or confirmation; not use social media to directly attack rival journalists or publications and not attack trolls, even if abused.

“The revision of our social media policy has been prompted by recent incidents involving staff use of Twitter and Instagram which reflected poorly on the staff involved and on our mastheads,” the policy says. “It is also consistent with social media policies at other major newsrooms around the world. The NYT has one of the most comprehensive policies. To borrow and amend two points from the BBC policy, ‘Don’t do anything stupid’ and ‘You are a Herald journalist: act like it’.”

Several reporters told the Weekly Beast the policy is “unworkable” and could lead to journalists getting fired for what they say on Twitter. Some feel it may even be used by management as a tool for getting rid of people. However, the policy says a mis-tweet would result in a chat with an editor rather than an official warning.


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Read from top. This will lead to one way traffic and censorship by default.

show only the good side..


A freelance journalist has gone public about a bizarre intimidation attempt by a senior MSNBC editor who tried to "bully" him into keeping a story under wraps – on behalf of the Democratic National Committee, not the network.

MSNBC politics managing editor Dafna Linzer tried to pressure Yashar Ali, a journalist who has written for the Huffington Post and New York Magazine, into holding back the release of the Democratic primary debate dates, Ali has claimed in a series of tweets. Linzer wasn't trying to beat him to the story, or calling on behalf of her own network at all – she was acting wholly on behalf of the DNC, according to Ali.

1. Yesterday, I received a call from @DafnaLinzer who serves as managing editor of NBC/MSNBC politics. Dafna's conduct during the call was highly inappropriate and unethical. So what was the purpose of her call? 

She called me to bully me on behalf of the DNC.

— Yashar Ali


Ali got wind of the Democratic primary dates, information even the candidates didn't have, on Thursday morning and called the party to verify them before publishing. They asked him to hold back the information while they made a few calls - which he refused, not wanting to lose the scoop - and then things got weird.

Linzer then called Ali and asked him to hold the story in order to give the DNC time to "make a few phone calls" to state party leaders, informing them of the debate dates. While her own network was planning to break the news later on that day, she spent the call "menacing" Ali, threatening to call his editor and trying several lines of reasoning to convince him to sit on the story – even bringing up her own history as a national security reporter at the Washington Post, when they "would hold stuff all the time."


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manufactured by religious nuts and "intel" agencies...

Facebook and the government of Singapore have announced plans to combat 'fake' news but can they be trusted not to abuse this power? Dr Martin Hirst reports.

ARE WE in the middle of a "fake" news pandemic? The issue has certainly got the attention of people who care about, or who claim to care about, such issues.

The President of the United States certainly thinks fake news is a huge problem. He tweets about it constantly and has even called the American news media the “real enemy of the people”.

For Americans who believe passionately in the First Amendment, this is horrifying and scary rhetoric, particularly when it butts up so closely the Second Amendment. (That’s the one about carrying a locked and loaded machine gun slung casually over one camo-covered shoulder while strolling around the shopping mall on the lookout for a bad guy with a gun.)

Journalism and media academics are also taking the fake news threat seriously judging by a recent trawl through the journal articles on the subject. According to the EBSCO Complete database, of 268 academic pieces written on fake news since 2002, 210 were written in the two-and-a-half years.

Is the news-consuming public really all that concerned about fake news and sorting out news-truth from news-fiction? We are consuming mountains of fake news on a daily basis. Perhaps overall we are intellectually poorer as a result, but it is actually hard to tell. Maybe, our BS filters are now highly attuned to fakery and we weed it out without thinking. Or, in a darker vein, have we just given up even trying?

It would be a shame if we just cynically give up on truth and lean into fake news with a defeated shrug of the shoulders. Sometimes this must seem like a tempting option to some people. How can we stem the tidal flow of junk and fake news? How can we prevent ourselves from being overwhelmed?

It’s not necessarily an easy question to answer. According to the self-appointed experts – a group that appears to have far too many intersections with the news establishment – we really only have two choices.

The first is that we let the corporate players decide for us with their "recommendations" about which news sources we should trust. The second is that we simply give the responsibility to governments and let them legislate their own definitions of fake news and a system for policing the media.

Trust me, I’m from Facebook

Just this week, Mark Zuckerberg announced yet another Facebook plan to eradicate fake news from the social media platform. Like most things Zuckerberg announces, the details are sketchy. It is not clear if actual humans would be involved in this mammoth editing task, or if it would be left to artificial intelligence to sift and sort the "good" news from the dross and drivel that clogs up our Facebook news feeds.


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The two main creator of fake news are religions and "intelligence" agencies. THEY WANT YOU TO BELIEVE RATHER THAN YOU TO KNOW. Think about it...

the fake news cocktails...


“Investigative journalism” is all the rage nowadays, in the age of “fake news. And anyone can do it, from institutions like the Guardian – “support our independent investigative reporting” – to nerds with an iPhone and odd habits. What is revealed by these “investigations” of “Open Source Intelligence” – OPI - is only limited by one’s imagination, because one must imagine what “closed source intelligence” might reveal.

This is more of a problem with OSI than it might seem, as mostly it is only concealed information which needs investigating! No better example of this exists than the work of the renowned investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. What has made his recent reports of such significance is information gleaned from “intelligence sources” – which Hersh has cultivated over years, and which have given us special insight into controversial events such as the alleged chemical weapon attacks in Syria.

Equally topical are the “closed source investigations” obtained by Wikileaks, whose revelations about US war crimes and covert actions in the Middle East have been of such fundamental importance and use to those pursuing “truth and justice” - and the people who try to avoid them.

That the work of these two genuine investigative journalists has been the cause of such strife to those caught in the headlights is evidenced by their reaction and the extreme efforts to stifle the incriminating truth. Hersh may not have been subject to trumped-up charges and imprisonment, but his writings have been stifled by publishers and his conclusions ignored by Western media.

Meanwhile, those media - the Guardian and its ilk - have given “investigative journalism” a bad name, particularly with solicitations like this:

And we need your help, too. More people, all around the world, are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our reporting accessible to everyone, regardless of where they live or what they can afford.

The Guardian is editorially independent, meaning we set our own agenda. Our journalism is free from commercial bias and not influenced by billionaire owners, politicians or shareholders. No one edits our editor. No one steers our opinion.

This is important as it enables us to give a voice to those less heard, challenge the powerful and hold them to account. It’s what makes us different from so many others in the media, at a time when factual, honest reporting is critical.

It’s often necessary to read Guardian articles, and be subjected to this obnoxious and mendacious hype. This particular version came at the end of this article, whose content perfectly summarises the problem with the Guardian:

“Citizen journalists – the fighters on the Frontline against Russia’s attacks.”

“We can no longer count on our governments to protect us from a tide of disinformation. Our security rests in the hands of open source intelligence, as pioneered by Bellingcat.”  - writes Carole Cadwalladr.

A chilling thought!

The mention of “frontline” in Cadwalladr’s title seems hardly coincidental, as it was at the Frontline Club in London that Chis Wiley, the whistleblower on Cambridge Analytica appeared in public following Cadwalladr’s dramatic expose’ in the Observer two days earlier. Her work in bringing this scandal to light was widely recognised and lauded, including with the Orwell prize in July last year, an irony that would have been lost on readers of the Observer and Guardian. It would also be lost on those of our compatriots who suddenly discovered Cadwalladr following her dramatic presentation at the recent TED annual conference in Vancouver. And justifiably. Cadwalladr confounds our distrust of her allegiances and establishment status with her passionate and brave speech to Silicon Valley tech-heads, linked to in this article.

Orwell might have noted the irony also – or perhaps coincidence – that the Frontline club became known a decade ago when it became the forum for discussion of Wikileaks’ investigations, and the place where Julian Assange was the idol du jour amongst a similar cult social group before the insidious destruction of his credibility took hold of them. And the links go further. A youthful James Ball was working with Wikileaks back then, if fractiously. Ball claimed to support the “laudable aims” of Wikileaks, but objected to its practices as well as some of its adherents.

But any problem he may have had with Assange and Wikileaks is dwarfed by the problem we now have with James Ball as an agent for the Integrity Initiative working at the Guardian. Ball’s name was included in lists of II’s contacts in documents hacked and leaked by Anonymous in December 2018, and this forced the Guardian employee to come clean – after a fashion. While admitting but downplaying his connection to Donnelly’s Institute for Statecraft, Ball spares no words to mouth off about Russia’s alleged disinformation tactics, and supposed responsibility for the shooting down of MH17 and the poisoning of the Skripals in Salisbury.

Ball also mentions the Integrity Initiative event he attended, along with his colleague Carole Cadwalladr, at the Frontline club in mid December 2018. This twitter thread from Wikileaks tells almost the whole story:

Guardian's Carole Cadswallr and James Ball ("I didn't even realize"), appear, together with numerous others as speakers in closed FCO funded, intelligence linked "Integrity Institute" skill sharing, networking event. PDF: … …

James Ball✔@jamesrbukReplying to @jamesrbuk

2. Carole and a bunch of other journalists spoke at other points in the day. At no point was I told what to say or not say, and I hadn’t even realised it was organised by @InitIntegrity until today. The bits I was there for was an absolutely standard, good quality, training day.

6821:20 PM - Dec 16, 2018


But that was in December, and before further documents from the IfS had been released by Anonymous. Although Ball suggests that the Integrity Initiative “was doomed from the start” by operating covertly “like the Russians”, its agenda to spread disinformation and to extend malign influence into centres of government across Europe could hardly operate transparently! And it continues to operate as before; last week there was this event at the Frontline Club:

“Meet some of the world’s leading Open Source Investigations teams to discuss the groundbreaking techniques being used to support and strengthen reporting of civilian harm in conflicts worldwide. Times senior foreign correspondent Anthony Loyd will be joined by Chris Woods, Director of Airwars, Bellingcat’s Yemen reporter Rawan Shaif and Milena Marin, project lead for Amnesty Decoders.

Enter OSI. Using mountains of data sourced from freely available online resources like Twitter, Facebook and Google Earth, and often on a shoestring budget, many of the world’s biggest stories are being broken from behind laptops across the globe.

From the Skripal poisoning to the Battle of Mosul, Open Source Investigations are bringing information to the public by harnessing the phenomena of mass communication. This panel will focus on how OSI teams and monitoring groups are working to strengthen our power to report, and uncover stories of civilian harm in the world’s bloodiest conflicts.”


The chair for this event was none other than the BBC’s Defence correspondent Jonathan Beale, named in II documents as one of their own. Chris Woods has also worked for BBC Panorama, while Anthony Loyd recently distinguished himself by stumbling upon the “IS bride” Shamima Begum in Al Hol refugee camp. Loyd “has witnessed the atrocities committed by Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the brutal rise of the self-styled Islamic State and the desperate struggle of the Syrian people caught between the two.” One wonders where he may have “witnessed” these things, given the problem in visiting parts of Syria controlled by the “regime” without a visa. Or perhaps he witnessed them on a laptop in London. But his story of Begum and her babies captivated British audiences for weeks, allowing the real action to pass almost unnoticed until the End of the Caliphate was announced.

Also at this significant planning meeting was Rawan Shaif from the very recently launched Bellingcat-Yemen project. Whatever is behind this “open source investigation” into the US coalition’s war on the Yemeni national resistance, it certainly isn’t intended to identify the culprits for Yemen’s humanitarian disaster, given they aren’t in Yemen but in Abu Dhabi, Tel Aviv, Washington, Paris and London. One might ask also “why now”, and not three years ago, when thousands were being killed by bombs and missile strikes, including one on a funeral that ended up killing over 400 people, and over a dozen officials from Ansarullah.

For that particular war crime, I wrote “Decapitation in Sana’a”, also reviewing the moves to form a new government after 18 months of war. Reading it again now, two and a half years later, it’s hard not to be cynical about anyone who claims to “investigate” the crimes of the aggressors, without setting a foot in Yemen. In fact, it’s hard not to be incensed, at the sheer wilful brutality and calculated mendacity of those behind the “world’s worst humanitarian disaster” - that they themselves created.

The truth of what has been done to Yemen, as revealed by brave investigative journalists like Marwa Osman and Vanessa Beeley, and ignored by the serried ranks of mainstream reporters and commentators, is representative of the whole crisis on the cyber-battlefield – the virtual frontline between the Western mainstream and the “Resistance” – or whatever we like to call those who stand against it. The chasm between the two – us and them - has become almost unbridgeable, as even if we can manage to stir an interest in “The Integrity Initiative”, or “the Nurse’s Tale”, the details will be incomprehensible and unacceptable.

The reality of this impotence – my inability to influence close friends and acquaintances – came home with a crash last week with a group email about Carole Cadwalladr’s TED talk. The chair of my local climate action group unusually sent it round saying:

“I am compelled to share this straight away. It's about how powerful elites bypassed UK electoral laws using platforms such as FaceBook and how this resulted in a vote to leave on Brexit. It's not just about Brexit, it's about all elections. I'd read bits and pieces about this issue, but not previously understood the full ramifications.”


There is an election underway in Australia at the moment, in which climate change and coal mining are big issues, as is electoral interference, so Cadwalladr’s message has struck a chord with my campaigning friends, and struck a nerve with me!

How to explain “the full ramifications” of Cadwalladr’s cooperation with the enemy that she herself seems barely aware of – that is embedded in her? And to a community where US and Israeli influence is so embedded as to be invisible?



David lives in Australia, but grew up and graduated in the UK.





Gus note: GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL AND ANTHROPOGENIC... Whether we like or not, it is a strong scientific fact that can simply be explained. "Investigative journalism" has no place in determining whether the caper of warming is true or not. ONLY PROPER SCIENTIFIC FACTS CAN DO IT. That the global warming issue be pushed by The Guardian does not mean that it is fake news. Selective fake and real news tend to mix in unhealty cocktails at The Guardian.


This site, YD, has been at the forefront of sifting through the bullshit in this regard.



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exposing the culture of war...

Operation mind control

by Manlio Dinucci

The sense of sacrifice moves us. War can become admirable. Recipe: (1) find a young and likeable hero (2) praise his commitment and his altruistic death (3) claim that he was defending the good guys from the bad guys (4) say nothing about the horrors we have commited. This operation is still working – over and over again.

Yesterday in Pisa, approximately 5,000 children and adolescents from 212 classes participated in the « Day of Solidarity » in memory of Major Nicola Ciardelli of the Parachute Regiment (Lightning), who was killed on 27 April 2006 in a « terrible terrorist attack » in Nassirya, Iraq, during the Antica Babilonia « peace mission ». The demonstration is organised every year by the Nicola Ciardelli Association, created by his family with the essential support of the Municipality (first of all directed by the PD, today by the Lega). It has become the laboratory for a huge operation - with the collaboration of a wide range of organisations and associations – for «sensibilising young students to the importance of everyone’s engagement in the construction of a future of Peace and Solidarity».

The example to follow is « Nicola’s engagement in favour of the populations torn apart by the conflicts – people he had met on the many missions in which he participated », during which he had « touched with his fingers the devastation of war and the agony of those who were forced to suffer them, most importantly the children ».

But no-one said anything to the 5,000 children and adolescents about the true story of the devastating war which was sparked in 2003 by the United States against Iraq, a country already subjected to an embargo which, in the space of ten years, had caused one and a half million deaths, including approximately half a million children.

No-one explained to them that in order to justify the war, « proof » was invented accusing Iraq of possessing weapons of mass destruction, which was later revealed as false.

No-one told them that in order to eradicate the resistance, Iraq was submitted to fire and brimstone, by all means possible – from phosphorous bombs against the population of Fallujah to torture in the prison of Abu Ghraib.

The Italian contingent Antica Babilonia participated in this war - defined today by the Italian Minister of Defence as « Operation Iraqui Freedom, led by the USA to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s régime in the context of the international war against terrorism ». The political advisor of its commanders, between 2005 and 2006, was the current Minister of Defence Elisabetta Trenta (Five Stars). The 185th Paratroopers Division Folgore was part of this force, tasked with the reconnaissance of target acquisition, a department of the special forces which included officer Nicola Ciardelli.

The Regiment – as documented by the Minister for Defence— « operates by infiltrating operational detachments behind enemy lines for direct actions which include the engagement of targets from a distance and all platforms of ground-based, aerial, and naval armament ». In other words, once the human « target » has been identified, it is directly eliminated by chosen shooters, or indirectly, with laser pointers which guides bombs launched by a fighter aircraft.

This was not explained to the 5,000 children and adolescents who, at the crowning moment of the Day, applauded the paratroopers of the Folgore as they descended from heaven on the Ponte di Mezzo (a bridge on the Arno in the historical centre of Pisa, translator’s note) looking to their eyes like cartoon heros who defend the good guys from the bad guys.

The case of Pisa is not an isolated one. US soldiers from the Sigonella base in Sicily – reports Antonio Mazzeo – are increasingly present in Sicilian schools, where they give lessons in English, gymnastics and other subjects. At Sigonella, a parish priest took the children for an « educational visit », and also, in the bases at Puglia, there are «alternating school/work» courses for school-children. Similar cases have been recorded in other regions.

What is going on here is a real operation of military conquest of the minds of the young generations (and not those alone). Are there any teachers, students and parents available to stand against this invasion, by organising in order to advance, against the culture of war, the culture of peace?

Manlio Dinucci


Pete Kimberley


Il Manifesto (Italy)


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